Market for cloud hardware reaching tipping point in EMEA, it is claimed. European firms are increasingly spending money on cloud, rather than investing in on-premise infrastructure.

The uptake in big data and cloud is disrupting the European infrastructure hardware market, according to figures published by IDC.

The research firm said overall investment in hardware for cloud environments in EMEA is expected to exceed $4 billion by the end of this year. This figure represents an increase of 19 per cent on the previous year.

The market watcher also said that 5 per cent of the overall infrastructure spend in EMEA will be related to cloud environments in 2014, up from 8 per cent in 2011.

Around $3.4bn was spent on hardware going to cloud environments in EMEA in 2013, up 21 per cent from 2012, according to IDC estimates.

This led to a rise in the penetration of the overall infrastructure hardware spending in dollar terms, which was flat at $26.3 billion in 2013 compared with 2012.

In northern Europe, hosted private and public cloud deployments have been accelerated over the past two years, driven by large multinational providers especially in business to consumer environments, IDC claims.

Predictably, penetration is more advanced in Western Europe than in emerging EMEA markets.

The analysts said the main business drivers prompting cloud adoption are closely related to its advantages in terms of easy scalability, agile mobile applications support, and lower total cost of ownership (TCO) — as well as regulatory compliance, backup, and archive — while big data analysis appears to contribute in slight, albeit rising, proportions.

“Along with big data, social, and mobility, cloud represents one of the four pillars of IDC’s 3rd Platform vision — a new paradigm of IT usage that is revolutionizing the way technology is adopted in commercial and consumer environments,” said Giorgio Nebuloni, research manager in IDC EMEA’s enterprise server group.

“The rise of cloud has triggered a revolution in the hardware market. While white-box and few large OEMs fight to absorb the surge in demand for public cloud, most incumbent hardware players invest heavily in offerings enabling on-premises and hosted private cloud environments, such as integrated systems, high-end networks, and high-performance storage.”